Here is what I said when #2 asked me about cooking for one person:
It’s not that hard, though of course there are often issues of time and energy. I eat a lot of pasta, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s nature’s perfect food. It’s cheap, easy, not bad for you, not too time-consuming, and you can put anything you want on top of it. It also makes good leftovers. I will put practically anything over pasta: frozen veggies, chicken, leftover other things, even salad! A lot of my favorite recipes involve some combination of pasta, garlic, olive oil, spinach, tomatoes, chickpeas, and cheese.
One thing I do a lot is to cook in bulk. I’ll make a recipe that claims to serve 4 – 6 people, and sometimes even double it if I really like it. Then I eat that one thing for a few days. There are a lot of things, like soups, that are great for using up leftover veggies or whatever is sitting around in your house, and then you can freeze individual portions and take them to campus for those days when you have to eat lunch at your desk. In fact, one of my favorite and most frequent dishes is called “whatever’s in the house, over pasta”. It also works with cous cous or sometimes rice. Never cook just one serving of pasta; it takes no more time or energy to cook the whole pound, and then you have quick-heating leftovers.
I invested in some individual-serving-size tupperware, like the size you would put a sandwich in. I use those for bringing leftovers to campus (for lunch OR dinner, depending on my teaching schedule). I cook chicken the simplest possible way most of the time, so I don’t have to expend mental energy on it. (Get a package of breast tenders, put them in a non-stick baking pan, cover with something out of a jar, and stick it in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes or so.)
I’m not sure what else to say, really. Judicious use of frozen or pre-prepped thingies. Sometimes cooking on weekends. I don’t eat the most healthy diet ever, but it’s not bad, and it’s not too expensive. Maybe an implicit idea here is to cook ONE thing, but make it a thing that’s a complete meal (with veggies, carbs, protein all in it) with various tastes, so you don’t have to cook different things to have a meal and so you don’t get bored eating that one thing. A casserole, a soup, whatever.
Would anyone else like to add anything about cooking for one?
#2: I SUCK at cooking for one. When I’m on my own I live on cereal once the frozen dinners are gone. I used to live on microwaved baked potatoes, but I can’t eat all those carbs anymore. ETA: And ice cream for dinner, of course.